Definition of catacomb
1 : a subterranean cemetery of galleries with recesses for tombs —usually used in plural
2 : something resembling a catacomb: such asa : an underground passageway or group of passagewaysb : a complex set of interrelated things the endless catacombs of formal education — Kingman Brewster †1988
Examples of catacomb in a Sentence
explored the catacombs looking for evidence about burial customs of that ancient society
Recent Examples of catacomb from the Web
Much like the myths of Christians hiding in the catacombs and being thrown to the lions in the Colisseum, there’s not much truth to the story.
Using lasers, restorers stripped away the deposits strata by strata — a technique never used before in the catacombs.
Michael Conelly, Lyndon Barrois Four generations of an Italian noble family are cursed by the corrupt power of an ancient book unearthed from the catacombs beneath their estate.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catacomb'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
About forty Christian catacombs have been found near the roads that once led into Rome. After the decline of the Roman empire these cemeteries were forgotten, not to be rediscovered until 1578. Catacomb has come to refer to different kinds of underground chambers and passageways. The catacombs of Paris are abandoned stone quarries that were not used for burials until 1787. The catacombs built by a monastery in Palermo, Sicily, for its deceased members later began accepting bodies from outside the monastery; today you may wander through looking at hundreds of mummified corpses propped against the catacomb walls, dressed in tattered clothes that were once fashionable.
Origin and Etymology of catacomb
Middle English catacumb, Medieval French catacombe, probably from Old Italian catacomba, from Late Latin catacumbae, plural
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
CATACOMB Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of catacomb for English Language Learners
: an underground place where people are buried
Seen and Heard
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